Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: The Reluctant Elf

I love Michele Gorman so I was so excited to have the chance to review a copy of her new holiday novella, The Reluctant Elf. It didn't quite live up to my (high) expectations but it's still a delightful read.

Here's the synopsis:
Meet Britain's Worst Innkeeper
Single mother and extremely undomestic goddess, Lottie, has five days to become the ultimate B&B hostess to save her beloved Aunt Kate’s livelihood.
When Aunt Kate ends up in the hospital, Lottie and her seven-year-old daughter are called to rural Wales to stand in at the B&B. Without the faintest idea how to run a hotel (she can barely run her own life), Lottie must impress the picky hotel reviewer and his dysfunctional family who are coming to stay over Christmas. Without the rating only he can bestow, Aunt Kate will lose her livelihood.
But will Danny, the local taxi driver who she hires to help her, really be Santa’s little helper, or the Grinch who stole Christmas?
The thing I didn't love was that the story seemed so outlandish. I couldn't understand why Aunt Kate would agree to have a reviewer stay when the B&B was in such disarray (that was an unintentional, and not very good, rhyme!). I think if the place had only been slightly messy and/or run down I could have accepted it but that wasn't the case. 

Putting that negative out of mind (I wish it had been easier to do), made the rest of the story enjoyable. I loved Lottie's daughter (I think she could be described as precocious!) and reading about their little family. Single moms (and dads) have it tough and I liked that Gorman made sure to show both sides of that life. It's hard to raise a child on your own but the relationship between parent and child can sometimes be extra special because it's just the two of them.

And, of course, I loved the love story. Was it predictable? Absolutely. But that didn't make it any less fun to read about. Reading as Lottie and Danny learned more about each other was so great. They become strangers to friends to something more. The progression is quick but it totally made sense. It was just so sweet!

Finally - I'm in love with the cover. There's just something about it that would make me pick it up if I saw it in the store. I think it's the unique colours and that pop of red! What do you think of it?

If you like humorous and sweet stories, pick up The Reluctant Elf by Michelle Gorman. It's a great novella to ease yourself into Christmas reading since it's not over the top Christmassy but it still embraces the spirit of the holiday.

Happy reading!

*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher, Notting Hill Press, in exchange for review consideration.*


  1. I read/reviewed this recently. I thought it was very cute. I think she had to have the reviewer come in order to receive some kind of certification, or to not have the mortgage default? I can't remember exactly, but I do remember thinking that she probably would not have passed.

    1. You're was to get a rating to stay open. I should have phrased it differently. I understand WHY she needed him to come but to think that she would be able to pass? That was the crazy part!


Thanks for stopping by Books Etc.!